COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Kirchgessner is the president of the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol – better known as G-COP – that serves Glendale, Ridgewood, Maspeth and Middle Village. In operation for more than 30 years, it is the oldest, largest and most active civilian patrol in New York City. The members patrol the streets approximately two to three times per week, for three hours per patrol, reporting all emergencies to the proper authorities. The 50 active volunteers direct traffic around accidents and parade routes, but the majority of their time is spent thwarting potential graffiti vandalism and other quality of life offenses. “It’s all about being in the right place at the right time,” Kirchgessner said.
PERSONAL: Kirchgessner, 66, and his wife are life-long Queens residents. They have a daughter in Florida, along with three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
JOB: Kirchgessner was previously the Director of Food Service for Banker’s Trust Co. in downtown Manhattan. He was in charge of 115 federal employees and ran three cafeterias before retiring in 2006.
PROUDEST MOMENT: “An award I received from G-COP in May 2004. I was looking out my window and this suspicious guy was walking back and forth in front of an SUV. He reached in an open window, grabbed some equipment and took off. I chased him and yelled, “Stop, Police!” He dropped the equipment and kept running. They never caught him, but he did drop the equipment. It was something I did on my own while sitting and looking out the window.”
FAVORITE MEMORY: “It’s not a favorite memory, but I was there at the World Trade Center during the ’93 bombing,” said Kirchgessner about one of his most vivid memories. “I was working across the street at the time. Nobody knew what was going on, it was complete chaos.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Trying to fill the shoes of (previous G-COP president) Frank Kotnik. Those are not easy shoes to fill.”
INSPIRATION: “It’s the idea that I’m giving something back to the community. When 9/11 happened, we guarded the perimeter of the 104th Precinct around the clock for five days. This allowed police to handle more important matters. I worked my whole life and never gave anything back. Now that I’m retired, I have the time to give back. If I didn’t have G-COP, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. It keeps me from being a couch potato.” – Steve Mosco